Thursday, May 21, 2009
Another shot at the Filipino this time by Alec Baldwin on David Letterman's show. I prefer Jay Leno's show because Letterman is very obnoxious even for a satirical talk show like his. So Baldwin's comments are nothing compared to what Letterman has said about Pres. George W. Bush, for example. And the "mail-order" Filipina bride has SOME basis in reality --- exactly why the Philippines has enacted an anti-mail-bride law. After two weeks, this thing will be forgotten. In the meantime, the Philippine government allows Filipinas to work like modern day economic slaves at P2,000 per month (yes US$40) or even less. And don't forget, the Philippines imports about 42% of its economy therefore, the prices of at least 42% of our economy reflect the world market price, and even higher because we need to pay the VAT, import duties, transportation, and profit of the importer. And don't tell me, the other non-imported component of our economy do not reflect the cost of the other imported items found in a particular product or service? If you are a bakery operator and your equipment is imported, and your flour is imported, and the electricity you use has imported coal or crude oil, and the computer you use is imported, and the cellphone you use is imported, don't tell me you are not going to include those imported factors in your pricing of your domestic product, the pan de sal? We should focus our energies on what matters most. Is it Alec Baldwin in a satirical show, or is it the purchasing power of the domestic helpers? Think.
Saturday, May 02, 2009
The idea for Hyperwage Theory came to me sometime in 1995 when I was working among US and British expatriates in Hong Kong and was assigned to several world capitals (New York, London, etc) as a result. The central idea of course is Purchasing Power to the lowest worker. However, at the time, I did not have the full backing of economic principles to back up my discovery. Since then I have read many textbooks and history of economics with the eye of somebody going against conventional economic wisdom. The first time I wrote about Hyperwage Theory (it was not called Hyperwage Theory then) was on May 2, 2002 in my BusinessWorld column. That was the Part 1. Therefore, officially, Hyperwage Theory is 7 years old today. However, part 2 was actually written in 2005 (three years after Part 1). It was in Part 2 that I settled on the name Hyperwage Theory. I actually wanted to call it "High Purchasing Power Theory" but this phrase was too wieldy, too long, too generic, and lacking the originality of an freshly invented word. And people will be referring to it as HPPT Theory? I settled on Hyperwage Theory although this term alone scares away first time readers. I figured, Hyperwage is a controversial term, but, hey, I invented it and its catchy and short. Part 1 by itself is self-contained, it described the theory and principles behind the theory. It should prove to be self-evident. Part 2 and the series was serialized for 33 weeks (whew!) in 2005 and the series was the detailed explanation of the basic tenets mentioned in Part 1. For all intents and purposes, the economic policy makers and the government executives were exposed to Hyperwage Theory in 2005 (four years ago). Hyperwage Theory made the term "purchasing power" fashionable, and I am happy that I achieved my first goal with my theory, and that is "awareness." And you can read so many accounts purporting to debunk Hyperwage Theory but look at their arguments: Do they stand on solid ground or are they just repeating the ideas of the authors of textbooks. And why do Third World people still line up at US embassies looking for that golden visa if not in search of Hyperwage? As long as they cannot answer you that with common sense, don't easily believe those detractors. They are not saying anything new, they are repeating the same economic ideas that have perpetrated and actually worsened the poverty conditions in Thirld World countries. Keep these in mind as your read the articles of the opponents of Hyperwage. (But remember, the government and the politicians have started to catch on: Purchasing Power is not a popular soundbite for them. Isn't that a signal, they are beginning to see the value of Hyperwage Theory?) Now, Hyperwage Theory has become a byword, (the butt of jokes), and Purchasing Power is the economic jargon of the times. Have you heard about "consuming power", "spending powers" "buying power" spoken by the senators, congressmen and economic advisers to the President? Before 2005, purchasing power was hardly a word, they uttered. Now, that they have dipped their feet in the pool, are they ready for US$1.50 per hour (or P20,000 per month) salary for the domestic helpers? Whatsoever you do to the least of your workers, you do unto the economy.